Making the Best of It

It’s been a while now…but I’ve got to confess that it seems that lately everything has gotten in the way for writing in my blog. And by mostly, I mean guilt. Guilt? Yes, read on.

Lately, I’ve felt lack of motivation to workout hard and follow my clean diet 100%. Such lack of motivation made me feel silly for even thinking about writing about fitness stuff. How could I possibly write about workouts and eating clean when I wasn’t doing it myself? The reality is that I was not feeling my best because stress had taken over me.

Feeling this way is of course, a real concern for me. I spent days trying to figure out where I tipped my balance and why I’ve felt so out of whack. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve workout all along, I’d be bored to tears if I didn’t hit the gym, but my drive and intensity were just not there. Then comes the eating part; I’ve snacked on junk food here and there and I’ve had several (many) cheat meals on the weekends that make me feel sluggish and tired the next day.

I don’t mean for this to sound as an excuse, but with a full-time work schedule, there is times, especially August/September and May/June,  where I’m so exhausted when I get home from work, that the last thing I want to do is workout or eat healthy. My brain and body are fatigued.  And, guess what I want when I’m tired? I want to eat! I want EVERY.SINGLE.CARB on available on planet earth. Then after I eat, I want to sleep. The problem is I can’t nap because then I won’t sleep at night-I then dream of work scenarios. Great, just great!

So this is what I’ve figured out, when I don’t eat clean aka when I eat junk food/gluten/trans fats/empty carbs/simple sugars etc. My body goes through a lot of inflammation. So I bloat, I get ‘puffy’–I don’t look like my normal self, so then I become sad because I don’t like the way I look and I definitely don’t like the way I feel. My vanity gets the best of me when my clothes feel tighter and I get a tummy pooching out. I then push myself to get the gym, but once there, I realize that I’ve got no drive because my hormones are altered from the junk foods. I just go through the motions not pushing myself. Once I return home, I find the treats and say to myself, “I eat just one cookie,” which turns out to be that I eat everything I can possibly get my little hands on.  And there you go, just like that; I keep fueling my vicious cycle! I eat poorly, so I consequently, feel and perform poorly. Just think of it as a junk food hang over that takes days to clear out of your system.

Since day 1 of working out, I’ve always kept a workout journal in which I would write down my workout plan for the next couple of weeks. I’d write my weight improvements added number of sets etc. but I stopped writing in it for the past 2-3 months. I figured, I kind of already know what movements I’m doing for the day once I’m at the gym. But with my lack of motivation lately, I have no other choice to go back to logging in my workouts. I’ve noticed that when I write down my workouts. I am better focused, because I’ve got a plan. For example, I struggle to push myself when it comes to arm day. So last week, in an effort to get a good workout, I quickly looked up an old arm workout plan and decided to redo it. Turns out I had a great workout that day! If I see it written, I think of it as a task (blame the Virgo part of me), so I must complete it so I can sort of ‘check it off’ and move on.

My second goal was to get better sleep. I know that I was having irrational cravings and overeating because I was fatigued. And, since I share my home with my love, it would be unfair to completely cut out all of the so called temptation foods from home. So the better solution was to get quality sleep. And how to you get quality sleep, you ask? Cut down on the caffeine. (Gasp) Whaaat?? Ah yes, that is especially hard for me. With work being busy and all, I found myself drinking multiple cups of coffee throughout the day. And even though I can fall asleep with no problem, I had light sleep and vivid dreams (mostly made up work scenarios). So I quit coffee and switched over to non-caffeinated herbal teas. I felt like death. It was all too much for me in a really stressful time, so I decided to drink black tea or half decaf and half regular coffee in the am only. And even though I might feel sluggish mid-day I held strong on not consuming anymore caffeine. This alone has made my sleep has been loads better and I am more focused at work.

Along with dropping my caffeine consumption, I keep a Gratitude Journal, in which I write down 10 things for which I am grateful. It can even be mundane things such as “I’m thankful for this journal” or more meaningful things like “I’m grateful for my family-they always make me feel loved.” I then write down 3 nice things someone did for me today and 3 nice things I did for someone else. Shifting your focus on the positives always helps me relax and consequently, I sleep better and stay asleep.

By addressing my rest, I now feel more energized to workout harder. Keeping my workout journal up-to-date defiantly keeps me accountable for my workout goals. With rest and enough physical activity, my eating habits are loads better; I don’t feel a need to eat every cookie on earth! Although its’ definitely a struggle, every day, I feel more empowered to keep making healthy choices for myself.  I know that everyone, especially me, will have slip an up here and there and that’s ok. The important thing is to acknowledge them and start to make changes. And with that in mind…today I’m going to have an AWESOME Chest and Back day!!!